Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Spoon River, Jabberwocky and Haiku poems

Filename: 
ds_0031_spoonriverhaiku_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0031_spoonriverhaiku_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Spoon River, Jabberwocky and Haiku poems
Subject: 
Deaf, Theater for the
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Subject: 
ASL poetry
Summary: 
Jack Smith, former Director of Public Information at NTID, introduces Robert F. Panara, an NTID Deaf professor who has managed the Experimental Educational Theatre, Drama Club, and involved with the founding of The National Theatre of the Deaf and NTID's Director, William E. Castle, a strong supporter of theatre. Panara explains that the Drama Club performs two shows per quarter and up to fifty students are involved with the performances, either as actors, artists, set designers, stage construction crew, and promotional activities. Asked to define sign mime, Panara says it's like "painting pictures in the air". Castle explains that theatre is an important educational tool that Deaf students respond to as they can express themselves freely. Three works are performed by seven students in the Drama Club: an excerpt from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, and Haiku Japanese poems. The student performers are: Charles 'Chuck' Baird, Betti (Elizabeth) Bonni, Debbie Helwig, Thomas Orscher, Donald Stoops, Miriam Sotomayor, and Glenn Stewart. In the first performance, Spoon River, it opens up with six bodies lying on the stage and Betti Bonni starts to narrate the excerpt. When she is done, individual performers stand up and take turns reciting the excerpt in sign language. The second performance shows Thomas Orscher performing Jabberwocky. The third and final performance shows individual performances signing Haiku poems.
Publisher: 
WOKR TV
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Contributor: 
Smith, Jack
Contributor: 
Panara, Robert
Contributor: 
Masters, Edgar Lee, 1868-1950.
Contributor: 
Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898
Contributor: 
National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Drama Club
Date of Original: 
1972
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
VHS
Dimensions of Original: 
29 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0031
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Robert Panara Deaf Video Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3954939
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/820
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
MAN: THE PROGRAM THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE MAY REQUIRE YOU TO USE YOUR EYES MORE THAN YOUR EARS. ["SHAFT" THEME PLAYING] ANNOUNCER: THIS IS "FOCUS"... A CLOSE LOOK AT ROCHESTER AND ITS PEOPLE... AND THEIR PROBLEMS. WELCOME TO A PROGRAM OF SIGN MIME TO BE PRESENTED TODAY BY THE DRAMA CLUB OF THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF. NTID, AS IT IS COMMONLY KNOWN, IS LOCATED ON THE CAMPUS OF ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. IT IS A CONGRESSIONALLY FUNDED POST-SECONDARY PROGRAM WITH ONE PRIMARY MISSION: THAT OF PREPARING DEAF STUDENTS FOR TECHNICAL CAREERS THAT WILL LEAD TO SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYMENT. MY NAME IS JACK SMITH, AND I'M DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION FOR NTID. ON MY LEFT IS DR. WILLIAM E. CASTLE, DEAN OF NTID, AND ON HIS LEFT, PROFESSOR ROBERT PANARA, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXPERIMENTAL, EDUCATIONAL THEATER AT NTID. HE JOINED NTID IN 1967 AS THE FIRST DEAF FACULTY MEMBER. MR. PANARA IS AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS ARTICLES ON DEAF EDUCATION AND ALSO ON THE THEATER. HE HAS LECTURED ON THE HISTORY OF THE THEATER AT THE EUGENE O'NEILL MEMORIAL FOUNDATION IN WATERFORD, CONNECTICUT AND IS A CONSULTANT TO THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF THE DEAF. BOB, HOW OFTEN DOES THE DRAMA CLUB PERFORM AND HOW MANY STUDENTS EXACTLY PARTICIPATE? PANARA: OH, WELL, YEAH, I HAVE 2 SHOWS EACH QUARTER DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR. AND WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 50 STUDENTS PARTICIPATING AS PERFORMERS, SET DESIGNERS AND ARTISTS, STAGE CONSTRUCTION CREW, PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES, AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SMITH: WELL, TELL OUR AUDIENCE, IS SIGN MIME REALLY A HEIGHTENED FORM OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION OR VISUAL LANGUAGE FOR THE DEAF? PANARA: WELL, YEAH. EVERYDAY SIGN LANGUAGE IS LIKE WHAT I'M DOING NOW-- VERY PROSAIC, NOT VERY EXCITING TO WATCH, BUT IT DOES ITS JOB-- EDUCATION AND WORK. BUT ON THE STAGE, WE TRY FOR SOMETHING MORE COLORFUL, SOMETHING WITH A FLAVOR. WE TRY TO PAINT PICTURES IN THE AIR. AND PROBABLY IT'S BEST EXPRESSED BY ONE CRITIC, WHO REVIEWED A PERFORMANCE OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF THE DEAF NOT LONG AGO. HE SAID, "A WORD IN HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE MOUTH." SMITH: DR. CASTLE, CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF STATEMENT ON EXACTLY WHAT BENEFIT THE EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE IS TO THE DEAF AT NTID? WELL, JACK, IN THE 2 YEARS IN WHICH WE'VE HAD A DRAMA CLUB AT NTID, WE'VE LEARNED VERY QUICKLY THAT THERE'S NOTHING IN THE FORM OF ACTIVITY THAT TURNS THE DEAF STUDENT ON MORE, BOTH IN TERMS OF THOSE WHO WOULD PERFORM ON THE STAGE AND THOSE WHO WANT TO WATCH THE OTHERS PERFORM. AND WE FEEL IT CAN BE USED AS A VERY IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL TOOL FOR TEACHING MANY THINGS TO THE DEAF STUDENTS. TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE, THIS PAST SUMMER, ONE THING THAT OCCURRED AT THE JUNIOR NAD CONVENTION WAS WHAT WAS CALLED A MOCK TRIAL, AND CERTAIN DEAF STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN THAT. CERTAIN LEGAL AUTHORITIES PARTICIPATED IN IT. AND IT WAS THE USE OF DRAMA-- - MM-HMM. FOR TEACHING THE DEAF STUDENTS ABOUT THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS AND WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM IN COURT SCENES. SMITH: VERY GOOD. CAN YOU SET THE STAGE FOR THE PERFORMANCE TODAY AND TELL US WHAT 3 SELECTIONS ARE BEING PRESENTED? YES. WE HAVE 7 DEAF STUDENTS WITH US THIS AFTERNOON WHO ARE GOING TO PERFORM SECTIONS FROM THE "SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY" BY EDGAR LEE MASTERS. ONE YOUNG FELLOW IS GOING TO DO "THE JABBERWOCKY," WHICH IS FROM LEWIS CARROLL'S "ALICE IN WONDERLAND," AND THEN WE HAVE A SERIES OF HAIKUS FROM AN ANTHOLOGY OF JAPANESE LITERATURE. WELL, WE HOPE THE AUDIENCE WILL TRULY ENJOY THIS GREAT VISUAL EXPERIENCE. [WIND WHISTLING] [DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING] PANARA: WHERE ARE LESLIE, WALTER, LUKE, WALL, AND FLEXER? THE WEAK OF WILL, THE STRONG OF ARM, THE CLOWN, THE BOOZER, THE FIGHTER? ALL, ALL, ARE SLEEPING ON THE HILL. ONE PASSED IN A FEVER, ONE WAS BURNED IN A TRAIN WRECK, ONE WAS KILLED IN A BRAWL, ONE DIED IN AN ASYLUM, ONE ALMOST REACHED THE HEIGHTS OF EARTH, BUT MISSED AND SANK TO THE DUST. ALL, ALL ARE SLEEPING, SLEEPING, SLEEPING ON THE HILL. WHERE ARE ELLA, KATE, AMANDA, AND EDITH? THE TENDER HEART, THE SIMPLE SOUL, THE LOUD, THE PROUD, THE HAPPY ONE? ALL, ALL, ARE SLEEPING ON THE HILL. ONE DIED IN UNWILLING CHILD-BIRTH, ONE OF A THWARTED LOVE, ONE AT THE HANDS OF A BRUTE IN A BROTHEL, ONE OF A BROKEN PRIDE, IN THE SEARCH FOR HEART'S DESIRE, WAS BROUGHT TO HER LITTLE SPACE BY ELLA AND KATE AND MAG-- ALL, ALL ARE SLEEPING, SLEEPING, SLEEPING ON THE HILL. [WIND WHISTLING] HAVE YOU SEEN WALKING THROUGH THE VILLAGE A MAN WITH DOWNCAST EYES AND HAGGARD FACE? THAT IS MY HUSBAND WHO, BY SECRET CRUELTY NEVER TO BE TOLD, ROBBED ME OF MY YOUTH AND MY BEAUTY; UNTIL AT LAST, WRINKLED AND WITH YELLOW TEETH, AND WITH BROKEN PRIDE AND SHAMEFUL HUMILITY, I SANK INTO THE GRAVE. BUT WHAT THINK YOU GNAWS AT MY HUSBAND'S HEART? THE FACE OF WHAT I WAS, THE FACE OF WHAT HE MADE ME! THESE ARE DRIVING HIM TO THE PLACE WHERE I LIE. IN DEATH, THEREFORE, I AM AVENGED. SHE TOOK MY STRENGTH BY MINUTES, SHE TOOK MY LIFE BY HOURS, SHE DRAINED ME LIKE A FEVERED MOON THAT SAPS THE SPINNING WORLD. THE DAYS WENT BY LIKE SHADOWS, THE MINUTES WHEELED LIKE STARS. SHE TOOK THE PITY FROM MY HEART, AND MADE IT INTO SMILES. SHE WAS A HUNK OF SCULPTOR'S CLAY, MY SECRET THOUGHTS WERE FINGERS: THEY FLEW BEHIND HER PENSIVE BROW AND LINED IT DEEP WITH PAIN. THEY SET THE LIPS, AND SAGGED THE CHEEKS, AND DROOPED THE EYES WITH SORROW. MY SOUL HAD ENTERED IN THE CLAY, FIGHTING LIKE SEVEN DEVILS. IT WASN'T MINE, IT WASN'T HERS; SHE HELD IT, BUT ITS STRUGGLES MODELED A FACE SHE HATED, AND A FACE I FEARED TO SEE. I BEAT THE WINDOWS, SHOOK THE BOLTS. I HID ME IN A CORNER-- AND THEN SHE DIED AND HAUNTED ME, AND HUNTED ME FOR LIFE. [WIND WHISTLING] I BELONGED TO THE CHURCH, AND TO THE PARTY OF PROHIBITION; AND THE VILLAGERS THOUGHT I DIED OF EATING TOO MUCH WATERMELON. BUT THE TRUTH IS, I HAD CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER, BECAUSE AT EVERY NOONTIME FOR 30 YEARS, I SLIPPED BEHIND THE PRESCRIPTION PARTITION IN TRAINOR'S DRUG STORE... AND THERE BEHIND THE COUNTER, I WOULD POUR MYSELF A GENEROUS DRINK... [COUGHING] FROM THE BOTTLE MARKED "SPIRITUS FRUMENTI." MY NAME USED TO BE IN THE PAPERS DAILY AS HAVING DINED SOMEWHERE, OR TRAVELED SOMEWHERE, OR RENTED A HOUSE IN PARIS, WHERE I ENTERTAINED THE NOBILITY. I WAS FOREVER EATING OR TRAVELING, OR TAKING THE CURE AT BADEN-BADEN. NOW I AM HERE TO DO HONOR TO SPOON RIVER, HERE BESIDE THE FAMILY WHENCE I SPRANG. WHAT? NO ONE CARES NOW WHERE I DINED, OR LIVED, OR WHOM I ENTERTAINED, OR HOW OFTEN I TOOK THE CURE AT BADEN-BADEN! [WIND WHISTLING] OUT OF A CELL INTO THIS DARKENED SPACE THE END AT 25! MY TONGUE COULD NOT SPEAK WHAT STIRRED WITHIN ME, AND THE VILLAGE THOUGHT ME A FOOL. YET AT THE START THERE WAS A CLEAR VISION, A HIGH AND URGENT PURPOSE IN MY SOUL WHICH DROVE ME ON TRYING TO MEMORIZE THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA! [WIND WHISTLING] I WANTED TO GO AWAY TO COLLEGE, BUT RICH AUNT PERSIS WOULDN'T HELP ME. SO I MADE GARDENS AND RAKED THE LAWNS AND BOUGHT JOHN ALDEN'S BOOKS WITH MY EARNINGS AND TOILED FOR THE VERY MEANS OF LIFE. I WANTED TO MARRY DELIA PRICKETT, BUT HOW COULD I DO IT WITH WHAT I EARNED? AND THERE WAS AUNT PERSIS MORE THAN 70, WHO SAT IN A WHEELCHAIR HALF-ALIVE, WITH HER THROAT SO PARALYZED, THAT WHEN SHE SWALLOWED, THE SOUP RAN OUT OF HER MOUTH LIKE A DUCK A GOURMAND YET, INVESTING HER INCOME IN MORTGAGES, FRETTING ALL THE TIME ABOUT HER NOTES AND RENTS AND PAPERS. THAT DAY I WAS SAWING WOOD FOR HER, AND READING PROUDHON IN BETWEEN. I WENT INTO THE HOUSE FOR A DRINK OF WATER, AND THERE SHE SAT ASLEEP IN HER CHAIR... THE TEXT BY PROUDHON WAS LYING ON THE TABLE, AND A BOTTLE OF CHLOROFORM ON THE BOOK, SHE USED SOMETIMES FOR AN ACHING TOOTH! I POURED THE CHLOROFORM ON A HANDKERCHIEF AND HELD IT TO HER NOSE TILL SHE DIED. [WIND WHISTLING] OH, DELIA, DELIA! THE CORONER SAID SHE DIED OF HEART FAILURE. I TOOK ALL HER DOUGH AND MARRIED DELIA. A JOKE ON YOU, SPOON RIVER? [WIND WHISTLING] THE EARTH KEEPS SOME VIBRATION GOING THERE IN YOUR HEART, AND THAT IS YOU. AND IF THE PEOPLE FIND THAT YOU CAN FIDDLE, WHY, FIDDLE YOU MUST, FOR ALL YOUR LIFE. WHAT DO YOU SEE, THE WIND IN THE CLOVER? OR A MEADOW TO WALK THROUGH TO THE RIVER? OR MAYBE YOU HEAR THE RUSTLE OF SKIRTS LIKE ALL THE GIRLS WHEN DANCING AT LITTLE GROVE. TO THE FARMER, A HIGH PILLAR OF DUST OR WHIRLING LEAVES MEANS RUINOUS DROUTH. THE SAME THING TO ME ALWAYS LOOKS LIKE RED-HEADED SAMMY STEPPING IT OFF, TO "TOOR-A-LOOR." HOW COULD I SOW MY 40 ACRES NOT TO SPEAK OF GETTING MORE, WITH A MEDLEY OF HORNS, BASSOONS AND PICCOLOS STIRRED IN MY BRAIN BY CROWS AND ROBINS AND THE CREAK OF A WIND-MILL--ONLY THESE? AND I NEVER STARTED TO PLOW IN MY LIFE THAT SOMEONE DIDN'T STOP BY IN THE ROAD AND TAKE ME AWAY TO A DANCE OR A PICNIC WITH MY FIDDLE TUNED AND UNDER MY ARM. I ENDED UP WITH 40 ACRES. I ENDED UP WITH A BROKEN FIDDLE... AND A BROKEN LAUGH, AND A THOUSAND MEMORIES, AND NOT A SINGLE REGRET. [WIND WHISTLING] [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] "THE JABBERWOCKY." 'TWAS BRILLIG, AND THE SLITHY TOVES DID GYRE AND GIMBLE IN THE WABE: ALL MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, AND THE MOME RATHS OUTGRABE. "BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK, MY SON! THE JAWS THAT BITE, THE CLAWS THAT CATCH! BEWARE THE JUBJUB BIRD, AND SHUN THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH!" HE TOOK HIS VORPAL SWORD IN HAND; LONG TIME THE MANXOME FOE HE SOUGHT SO RESTED HE BY THE TUMTUM TREE AND STOOD AWHILE IN THOUGHT. AND, AS IN UFFISH THOUGHT HE STOOD, THE JABBERWOCK, WITH EYES OF FLAME, CAME WHIFFLING THROUGH THE TULGEY WOOD, AND BURBLED AS IT CAME! ONE, TWO! ONE, TWO! AND THROUGH AND THROUGH THE VORPAL BLADE WENT SNICKER-SNACK! HE LEFT IT DEAD, AND WITH ITS HEAD HE WENT GALUMPHING BACK. "AND HAST THOU SLAIN THE JABBERWOCK? "COME TO MY ARMS, MY BEAMISH BOY! O FRABJOUS DAY! CALLOOH! CALLAY!" HE CHORTLED IN HIS JOY. 'TWAS BRILLIG, AND THE SLITHY TOVES DID GYRE AND GIMBLE IN THE WABE: ALL MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, AND THE MOME RATHS OUTGRABE. ANNOUNCER: "SPOON RIVER" BY EDGAR MASTERS, "THE JABBERWOCKY" BY LEWIS CARROLL, AND "HAIKU HARVEST," A JAPANESE POEM WAS PRESENTED ON "FOCUS" TODAY BY STUDENTS OF THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF EDUCATIONAL THEATER AT THE ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MR. ROBERT F. PANARA. IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS CONCERNING THIS PROGRAM, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADDRESS THEM TO "FOCUS" IN CARE OF... AND JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON "FOCUS" WHEN WE PRESENT A PROGRAM ENTITLED "BRAND X," CONCERNING ROCHESTER'S X-RATED MOVIES.
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."
Other Title: 
Focus